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Creating Network Overlay Using SD-WAN for Industrial Automation Applications

Introduction

Industry 4.0’s promising technology trends encompass areas and applications such as the Internet of Things, cyber security, the cloud datacenter, horizontal/vertical system integration, data mining/analytics, AR, VR, 3D printing and robotics; what all these technologies have in common is that they must rely on some sort of networking architecture/framework in order to deliver the innovation, profits, benefits and convenience promised.

But as eager as most service providers are when it comes to embracing and deploying mutually beneficial and profit making new services, more are reluctant to the notion of having to build a brand new networking framework from the ground up, for doing so is extremely costly and makes little business sense.

Challenges/Requirements

Given such consideration, networking hardware manufacturers such as Lanner are often called upon to provide solutions on which a framework for the next generation industrial automation and network architectures can be built so that the service providers can easily manage network bandwidth and security policy when delivering new services for customers without having to redesign either their network or their customer’s network.

The said networking framework must offer sufficient scalability and performance so that the same level of agility, robustness and management benefits can be scaled and delivered at will locally and internationally.

In other words, agility, simplicity and cost-friendliness are of the upmost importance for most network operators and service providers.

Application Scenario

A software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) offers strength and benefits described above even when it comes to automating industrial applications such as robotics and 3D printing. The goal in this particular application scenario is to efficiently and effectively automate the connection, programming and management of newly deployed 3D printers, robotic arms and other related components/devices in location A so that they can accurately receive and execute commands sent out from location B; what’s more, these printers and arms must be up and running in less than 2 weeks.

Solution

Seeing as building a separate WAN and VPN network on top of an existing infrastructure or re-designing the network to introduce 3D printing or other robotics into the existing industrial automation infrastructure are time-consuming and economically unwise, both are unviable solutions.

The most feasible solution, in this particular application scenario, would be to create a virtualized overlay using SD-WAN. This virtualized overlay is in fact a self-contained network with its independently-defined performance SLA, management and policy framework and can be easily implemented in the shortest time possible without any comprise in application automation performance.

Lanner specializes in designing and servicing both edge and gateway appliances required for deploying successful SD-WAN and SD-Security.

NCA-1510: Fanless SFF Desktop Network Security Appliance for SME Edge Security

NCA-1611: Virtualization-optimized Appliance for vCPE, uCPE, SD-WAN and SD-Security

NCA-6210: High Performance Network Appliance for Network Security and Virtualization

Conclusion

The capabilities of a network overlay deployed alongside an existing networking architecture for, in this particular scenario, industrial 3D and robotic automation clearly demonstrate how SD-WAN can be leveraged for its network scalability, resilience and performance even when it comes to industrial automation applications.

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